Tuesday, 3 May 2011

In Bod we trust. And dandelions.

Ask any of my friends, and they'll tell you: I'm not a latest-designer-handbag-chasing sort of girl. My husband and I share a mobile phone but can rarely remember where we left it. And Jimmy Choo sounds just like someone sneezing, to me, although I believe he is a real person and has something to do with shoes.

There, that's who I am. My trusty, ageing little rucksack serves me well for walking home with the groceries, and a sturdy pair of trainers is the ideal footwear for getting me there, up a mile of pretty much unrelenting hill. And if someone phones when I'm not at home, they can leave me a message and I'll phone them back.

I often reflect on the importance of simple pleasures - at least for me - in an increasingly complicated, pressurised and stuff-led world. Surely if we can enjoy the simple things in life, we're more likely to be happy? And we're surrounded by things everyday which can delight, even astound us, if we simply take a moment to see them.

The humble dandelion, for instance. Yes, it's a 'weed'. But take a good look at a dandelion. It actually has a very beautiful flower, a gorgeous sunburst of small, delicate petals. The name 'dandelion', incidentally, is apparently of late Middle English origin, from the French dent-de-lion, meaning 'lion's tooth' (because of the jagged shape of the leaves). But to me, the petals of this big, happy daisy actually resemble the mane of a bright yellow lion.

How could anyone not take pleasure in one of these?

Happy Dandelion 

And a cat's fur. Strictly speaking, our cat is black and white. But in bright sunlight, if you look closely, each 'black' hair reflects a dazzling array of colours - purple, green, turquoise, russet... Clever cat. Another simple pleasure, and for free, too. Well, maybe not quite for free, but, like me, she doesn't have designer tastes either: she is perfectly happy with Go-Cat, so that's something.

Happy Hattie 

And Bod. Ah, Bod. This was one of the television programmes I grew up with, and I feel so lucky I did.

For anyone who has never met him, Bod is a follically-challenged cartoon boy in a yellow dress and leggings (bear with me) who has an infectiously jaunty walk and an aunt called Flo. His friends are Farmer Barleymow, PC Copper and Frank the Postman (Oh! Ha! I just got that...).

Bod began life in 1963, when Michael and Joanne Cole created him for the entertainment of their own children. He enjoyed his first outing on television in a series of 13 five-minute animated shorts in 1974, and he is still going strong on DVD. His simple, sometimes surreal, adventures are complemented by warm and lovely narrative from John Le Mesurier and catchy incidental music by the much-loved Derek Griffiths.

Bod's adventures can be sampled for free online and I would strongly recommend you begin with the Official Bod Website. Here, you can witness the ramifications of 'Bod's Dream' about strawberries and cream, complete with joyously bizarre ending.

Also here is the story of 'Bod and the Apple', where the law of gravity is tested in time-honoured fashion, and there are, temporarily, red-faces all round. In fact, I just have to share this bit of dialogue with you:

Flo:   Hello Bod. What are you doing here?

Bod:  I'm waiting for an apple I threw up in the air. It hasn't come down.

Flo:   Oh, it will. They always do.


Today, this delightful programme feels like a celebration of simplicity itself. In these days of computer rendered special effects and the burgeoning of expensive 3D productions, what could be more heartening or reassuring than a little slice of hand-drawn, primary-coloured, two-dimensional animation?

Three cheers for Bod!


  1. Thank you for reminding me of Bod, that brought a smile to my face and made me whistle the theme tune :) Beautiful blog x

  2. Thank you very much Kirsty, and welcome to the blog. I really appreciate your comments, and I'm glad you enjoyed re-visiting Bod!